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close this bookGATE - 1/82 - Appropriate Technology - by whom? for whom? and how? (GTZ GATE, 1982, 36 p.)
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News from GATE

The Bullock-gear - Rediscovery of an ancient Technology

Working for their thesis turned out, for two young students from the Cologne Technical College, to be some sort of a "voyage of exploration of German agrarian history": They constructed a bullock-gear, a multipurpose device to be used in agriculture.

GATE supported the construction of this prototype which was presented to an interested public in the early autumn of 1982 at a farm near Frankfurt.

The "bullock-gear" (French: manege; Spanish: malaquete; German: Gopel) is a device where the traction of one or several draft animals moving in circles is transmitted, via their harness, to a rotating tree trunk or log and from there, via a gearing and a shaft or belt, on to the machine (scientific definition).

The construction of this demonstration bullock-gear proved to be rather difficult. The two students busied themselves for their thesis with the "rediscovery" of agrarian machinery no longer available, evaluated dozens of documents and files; they perused old books in the hope of finding construction and assembly designs.

Very often the students got stuck in a dead end when asking for anything written about the experience made with these implements. Even companies which still constructed bullock-gears before the second world war had to confess that they had destroyed their old files.

Eventually, the students simply had to help themselves somehow. So, with the aid of old scrap material, they constructed "their own" bullock-gear.

Constructors as well as visitors were amply satisfied with the demonstration of the model in the farmyard. Pulled by a horse, the bullockgear was firstly used to set into operation a chaff cutter about 100 years old. This demonstration was then followed by setting into motion a small grinding mill. Finally, even water was pumped with this machine.

The GATE staff is convinced that the bullock-gear technology can be of great use in the developing countries; some of them have been familiar with this technique for centuries, as have many European countries.

GATE plans to start activities by extending and accentuating the knowledge of the advantages and disadvantages of the various types of gears; this will be done through research and practical tests within the scope of a number of measures to revive, improve and disseminate the bullock-gear technology.

A first step in this direction will be taken in cooperation with Senegal. Other specified demands are forthcoming from countries such as Tanzania, Rwanda, Mali, and the Central African Republic.

GATE is prepared to assist the construction and utilization of bullock-gears within the framework of German technical cooperation projects. For this purpose, shortterm experts can be seconded who would help with the design and/or construction of prototypes.

GATE at the RDT 82 in Bulawayo/Zimbabwe

A seminar was arranged by the German Appropriate Technology Exchange (GATE) on 1 7th September in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, at which the special services offered by GATE were introduced, and comprehensive information was given about a project in Cameroon.

GATE had its own stand at the exhibition, entitled "Rural Development Technology 1982" (RDT 82), which took place there and in which more than 130 exhibitors from over twenty countries took part. After the end of the exhibition, a spokesman of GATE said: "We have achieved all our objecties at RDT. The visitors came from all our target groups."


At RDT 82, GATE also presented its exhibition entitled "Environmental Protection and Technical Cooperation with the Federal Republic of Germany" which was shown for the first time at the Special Conference of the United Nations' Environment Programme (UNEP) in spring of this year in Nairobi, Kenya.

The exhibition deals - in large, comic-like picture boards and in an accompanying booklet - with ecological problems such as combatting desertification, production of firewood and lumber, flood control, supply of drinking water, erosion control, afforestation, grassland farming, pesticide residue control, biological pest control, agroforestry, and ecofarming. The projects reported on are described as examples of new ecological approaches to development which are the product of past experience and offer great potential for the future.

For the purpose of the exhibition, the figure of the demon "Des" has been divised in order to give a name to the destruction of the invironment. "Des" stands for Desertification, Destruction, and Desperation; it represents the scourges of our environment; it threatens the life of every one of us. "Des" represents death.

AT Seminar in Peru

"Andine Agriculture" is to be the subject of the Third Seminar on Appropriate Technology (AT) in March 1983 in Cajamara, Peru.

The organisers are the University of Cajamara and the CCTA (Comision Coordinadora de Technologia Adecuada), the AT coordinating committee in Peru.

At the seminar about 30 participants from Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador and Chile will be dealing with the following subjects: Exchange of information and experience on traditional techniques in Andine agriculture; documentation of these techniques; evaluation of possible dissemination strategies.

GATE is providing support for the Cajamara seminar under its project "Research of Local Resources".

Conference on Rural Technology

An International Conference on Rural Technology, organized by the Indian "Consortium on Rural Technology" (CORT), took place in Allahabad on October 21 and 22, 1 982.

The conference concentrated on the following fields of technology: Processing of agricultural and horticultural products; wind mills, solar energy and biogas; household technologies for domestic purposes; sanitation problems.
At the same time, an exhibition of proven technologies for the rural area was organized by the Institute of Engineering and Rural Technology (IERT), also in Allahabad. Both the meeting and the exhibition were joined by the participants of two other meetings of engineers which were held in Allahabad, too.

The purpose of CORT and IERT was to focus the attention of technological experts on other proven technologies, and to enable them to learn from one another.